Top trips for 2020

The New Year is almost here. If one of your resolutions for 2020 is to travel more, Arrangements Abroad has journeys for every type of traveler. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia, Spain

Best cruises for art aficionados: Sail stunning coastlines to experience art treasures in Spain and France during “Mediterranean Masterpieces” (April 16-25). On Belgium, Holland & Van Eyck” (April 30-May 9), call at Ghent, which will be celebrating the “Van Eyck Year” in 2020 with the return of the magnificent Ghent Altarpiece to St. Bavo’s Cathedral. 

Most relaxing river cruise: Immerse yourself in the art, architecture, and history of some of Italy’s most beautiful cities during “Pearls of the Po” (May 9-17). 

Derrick Pitts

Derrick Pitts

Top trip for stargazing: Join Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute, to go behind the scenes at the Griffith Observatory, Caltech, and SpaceX on “Science & Innovation in the Golden State: Los Angeles & Pasadena” (May 13-17).

A-list trips for Anglophiles: Discover the rich heritage of England’s architecture, enjoy exclusive events, and stay in stunning historic properties during “English Elegance: Majestic Manors of Bath & Cornwall” (May 12-20).  Or experience the British capital’s icons such as the fabulous Crown Jewels and Kensington Palace outside of public hours during “Met Classics: London” (September 30-October 6). 

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

Outstanding tours to see ancient wonders: On “Legends & Landscapes of Peru” (April 20-28), enjoy special access to private collections and archaeological sites. Alternatively, cruise the Mekong aboard the elegant Jahan and discover the UNESCO-designated temple complex of Angkor during “Treasures of Cambodia & Vietnam” (September 24-October 5).  

Incomparable train journeys: Luxuriate in an epic journey from Mongolia to Moscow aboard the exclusive Golden Eagle during “Splendors of Siberia & Mongolia” (July 9-22). Alternatively, experience Japanese hospitality at its most refined during “Journey to the Deep North of Japan: Tokyo to Hokkaido Aboard the Train Suite Shiki-shima” (October 1-12).

Short getaways exploring America: See the best of Newport, Rhode Island before the summer crowds arrive during “Newport, Rhode Island: From the Revolution Through the Gilded Age” (May 17-22). Or, if you prefer a fall escape, discover masterpieces of art and architecture during “Treasures of the Brandywine Valley: Private Estates & Exclusive Collections” (October 4-8).

Top tour for foodies: Attend the annual International Alba White Truffle Fair, meet with a trifulau (truffle hunter), and enjoy a private tour of one of the most celebrated and beautiful wineries in the world during “Hidden Gems of Northern Italy: Castles, Collections & Culture in Milan, Turin & Alba” (November 8-16). 

Best journey for nature lovers:  Experience Iceland’s lava fields, black-sand beaches, majestic waterfalls and more during “Phenomenal Iceland: Contemporary Art & Natural Wonders” (September 8-15). 

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland


Meet Our Talented Team: Summaiya Muhammad

Intern Summaiya Muhammad in Rome

Our interns at Arrangements Abroad are extraordinary! Learn more about Summaiya Muhammad, a student majoring in psychology who works in Arrangements Abroad’s Client Services department, in this Q&A.

When did you start interning at Arrangements Abroad, and what is your position here?  I started interning at Arrangements Abroad in the beginning of May. After studying abroad last year, I gained interest in the traveling industry, so I thought this would would be a great way to get my feet in the door and learn more about the ins and outs of travel. Aside from interning here, I go to school and work as a hostess at a Japanese restaurant.

If you are still in school, what are you studying? I have one more semester left of school. I am studying psychology with a minor in global studies.

What is your hometown? My hometown is Los Angeles, California.

What is your favorite travel-related book? My favorite travel-related book is definitely Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It sounds cliche, but it was sort of like a right of passage read for me. I love how this one pair of pants connects four friends who are each at very different places in their lives.

Which city do you most recommend to friends? Berlin, Berlin, Berlin! I fell in love with Berlin after two days, and I believe that everyone should experience the vibes Berlin has to offer, at least once in their lifetime!

Which city would you would drop everything to see? I would drop everything to see Dubai, no questions asked.

Summaiya in London

Which department(s) are you in as an intern? What do you enjoy working on the most for Arrangements Abroad? I work in the Client Services department. I enjoy doing outreach the most, because it gives me the opportunity to talk to travelers and get them interested in trips.

Do you have any special skills? Cooking breakfast and guessing people’s zodiac signs.  

What are your three most visited websites? Depop, Twitter, and anything that has to with astrology.

What is something about you that surprises people? How much I am addicted to tea!

Summaiya in South Africa

What are some favorite trips that you’ve taken? My favorite trips have been Berlin (of course), Paris, and South Africa! I would jump at a chance to live in any of those places.

What would your dream trip be?  My dream trip would be to spend half a year exploring Africa! I would like to start up north, in Morocco, then make my way through Western Africa (Senegal, Sierra Leon, Ghana, etc.) and pass through Nigeria to East Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan). Next, I would head down south to visit central African countries, then end in South Africa.

What are three things you can’t travel without? My yerba mate tea bags, earphones, and my Ramones (favorite pair of shoes).

Interested in finding out more about opportunities, including internships, at Arrangements Abroad? Visit the employment section of our website.

Meet Our Talented Team: Dayzjah Thomas


Dayzjah Thomas dancing

We love our interns (and former interns) at Arrangements Abroad. Today we learned more about employee Dayzjah Thomas, who first started out at the company as an intern.

When did you start interning at Arrangements Abroad, and what is your position here? 

I started working at Arrangements Abroad in June of 2018 as a TRAMS/Finance intern right after I graduated from the Alvin Ailey School for Dance. Before Arrangements Abroad, I was working at school for my program director as his assistant. I was referred here by one of my peers, Sophia! I have upgraded to a general Client Services assistant, and now I assist with outreach and administrative duties.

If you are still in school, what are you studying? 

I’m not in school anymore, I’m a freelance dancer! I plan to go back to school for something involving the medical industry or food.

What is your hometown?

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but I grew up in Los Angeles, California.

Who would play you in a movie? 

I would love to have Lupita N’yongo play me in a movie. I love how poised and well-spoken she is, not to mention her beauty!

Which city do you most recommend to friends? 

Los Angeles. Beautiful weather anytime!!

Which city would you drop everything to see? 

I would drop everything to go see Tokyo, Japan, or Phuket, Thailand. I studied Mandarin Chinese in high school and fell in love with Asian culture. I’d love to take a food tour!

Which department(s) are you in at Arrangements Abroad? What do you enjoy working on the most?

I work for the Client Services and  Finance departments. Sometimes I assist the Operations & Communications departments as well. I enjoy Trams inputs the most! It’s what I started out doing here first, and it keeps me calm!


Dayzjah Thomas

Do you have any special skills?

DANCE. DANCE. DANCE. (Click here for a YouTube video of Dayzjah dancing.)

What are your three most visited websites or apps?,, and Instagram.

What is something about you that surprises people?

I’m really scared of birds, mostly pigeons, especially when they fly in flocks.

What is one of your favorite trips that you’ve taken? 

When I was younger, we went on a family vacation to the Bahamas via Disney cruise. Best trip ever!

What would your dream trip be? 

Honestly, any Disney vacation still! I loved it so much, and I believe I’d have fun at any age. My dream Arrangements Abroad trip is the Met Buddhism & the Himalayas program. I love learning about spiritual enlightenment and the hotels look amazing.

What are three things you can’t travel without?

Headphones, my Pillow Pet Unie the Unicorn, and socks!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My uncle is a famous actor and comedian. You may know him: Norbit, Undercover Brother, Double Take, Malcolm & Eddie….

Interested in finding out more about opportunities, including internships, at Arrangements Abroad? Visit the employment section of our website.


Meet Our Talented Team: Katarina Lopes


Katarina Lopes in one of her favorite cities: Porto, Portugal

Meet Katarina (“Kat”) Lopes, who is is currently an intern in Arrangements Abroad’s marketing and communications department.

  • When did you start interning at Arrangements Abroad, and what is your position here? I started interning at Arrangements Abroad on June 3rd , and I work in the communications department. When I’m at school at Loyola University Maryland, I work for a catering company.
  • What are you studying? I am a marketing major with a minor in environmental and sustainability studies.
  • What is your hometown? My hometown is Union, NJ.
  • What is your favorite travel-related book? The Alchemist. It taught me to pursue my dreams by following what my heart wants, and that every encounter you have will have a lesson for you.
  • Which cities do you most recommend to friends? I have two: Porto and Florence.
  • Is there a city you would drop everything to see? I would love to visit Marrakesh because I think it has a rich culture and I love its architecture.
  • What do you enjoy working on the most for Arrangements Abroad? I like sorting out images from brochures and working with data.
  • Do you have any special skills? Playing volleyball; playing guitar; and speaking three languages. In addition to English, the other languages I speak are Spanish and Portuguese. I also plan on learning Italian, especially when I study abroad in Rome during my spring semester.
  • What are your three most visited websites or favorite apps? Netflix, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • What is something about you that surprises people? I’m a pescatarian.
  • Favorite trips that you’ve taken? Portugal, Grand Cayman, and Paris.
  • What would your dream trip be? To go on a South African safari. I’d also love to visit Australia and Japan.
  • What are three things you can’t travel without? My phone, camera, and a book.
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Kat in Barcelona, Spain

Interested in finding out more about opportunities, including internships, at Arrangements Abroad? Visit the employment section of our website.


Meet Kieran McCarthy Fell

Hiking at Machu Picchu at dawn

Kieran hiking at Machu Picchu at dawn.

Arrangements Abroad has welcomed several new staff members in recent months. For this post, we’d like to introduce you to Kieran McCarthy Fell, who joined our Client Services team.

When did you start working at Arrangements Abroad, and what is your position here?

I started August 6, 2018, and I’ve loved every day so far! I’m a Client Services Coordinator.

What were you doing right before you started working for Arrangements Abroad? 

Panicking about when I would find a job! No, I had just graduated from grad school and come back from a week playing Irish music in the Catskills with friends.

What is your hometown?

Huntington, New York.

Kieran skiing in the Alps

Skiing for the first time ever, in the Austrian Alps! The bunny hill was at the top of Kitzsteinhorn.

Who would play you in a movie?

My boyfriend claims it would be Anna Kendrick. I’m okay with that. She’s spunky!

What is your favorite travel book?

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.

City you most recommend to friends

There are so many amazing places for different interests! Some I’ve raved about are Stockholm, Krakow, Seattle, and Prague. And Alaska’s Glacier Bay area, though I know it’s not a city.

City you would drop everything to see

Of places I’ve been before, Vienna. It definitely has a hold on me. Of cities I haven’t gotten to see yet, I’d go to Istanbul or St. Petersburg in a heartbeat. Also, although they are not cities, I’d love to visit Georgia, Patagonia, and Mongolia. And Antarctica before it’s completely melted away.

What is your favorite thing about working at Arrangements Abroad?

I’m really enjoying the people I get to work with, coworkers and travelers alike. Everyone in the office has been so helpful and patient that I’m looking forward to the day I can help each of them in return. And our travelers are so passionate about seeing the world! That’s something I have great admiration for.

Kieran with flute at the Cliffs of Moher

Kieran with her traditional flute at the Cliffs of Moher.

Do you have any special skills?

Playing traditional Irish music, and I’ve recently discovered I do a pretty okay job of impersonating Janice from Friends.

Your most visited websites

Condé Nast, Facebook (sadly), and everything affiliated with Google (especially Gmail and Google Maps).

Something about you that surprises people.

I’m REALLY not a fan of butterflies! Also I’ve published a research paper.

Three things you can’t travel without 

Some variety of photo-taking device, a list of useful words and phrases in the local language, and something to read on the way.

Number of trips traveled on

None for AA yet, though hopefully someday! So far, I’ve traveled to 17 countries (some more than once), 43 states (some more than once) and Puerto Rico; and the rest of the world is on my bucket list!

A Taste of Summer

Summer house

Baltic Red Houses

June 21st marks the official first day of summer! In addition to traveling on some of Arrangements Abroad’s trips to destinations including the Baltic, staff members are taking vacations to places near and far. Here’s a roundup of some of the locations they’ll explore this summer.

“I’m going to Ecuador for two weeks with my son. The trip will be half business and half vacation.” –-Ute Keyes, Director, Tour Operations & Development 

Morning on the Lost Coast, photo by Wendy Seltzer

Morning on the Lost Coast, photo by Wendy Seltzer

“I’m taking an extended camping trip from San Francisco to Seattle and Lost Coast in between.” –Ethan Long, Client Services Outreach Coordinator

“I am planning to go to Oregon and Los Angeles in July. Oregon is very beautiful in the summer, but I’m most excited to go hiking and support the local businesses in the Columbia Gorge, which is recovering from a devastating wildfire.” –Amy Wilson, Client Services Associate 

“I am going to Montana to ride horses on a dude ranch!”  –Olivia Post, Operations Manager

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia

“I’m traveling to the Republic of Georgia. Will stay in Tbilisi and do some day trips out of the city.” –Christine Echeverri, Client Services Associate 

“For personal travel, I will be going to Maine in August for the first time, to visit Acadia National Park with my family. At the end of this month I am doing a work trip accompanying a small group to Austria. One of the things we are doing is attending a day of performances at Grafenegg.  Should be interesting!” –Erin Balderrama, Vice President, Tour Operations 

Where would you like to travel this summer? For additional information about Arrangements Abroad’s upcoming tours, please visit our website.


Venice Restaurant Recommendations



La Serenissima is known for its five-star dining. If you are traveling to Venice, you may wish to enjoy a meal at leisure at one of these restaurants, many of which serve traditional Venetian cuisine.

Do Forni
San Marco, 468
This trattoria has two rooms. The first has rustic and elegant
furniture, reminiscent of an ancient Venetian tavern. The other,
called “Orient Express,” has deluxe furniture and an intimate
atmosphere that resembles the dining car of the famous train
connecting Venice to Istanbul and Paris

Antica Trattoria “da FIORE” (Michelin starred)
San Marco, 3461 Calle delle Botteghe
This lovely and traditional place, which has existed since 1871,
has a family feel. Once an old Venetian tavern, Da Fiore has
become one of the city’s most famous restaurants. It offers highquality
cuisine, which is served in an elegant and refined rooms.
(Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Quadri (Michelin starred)
Piazza San Marco, 121
Located directly above Gran Caffè Quadri, the restaurant boasts
a magnificent view of St. Mark’s Square. The atmosphere in the
dining room is elegant yet relaxed. The menu, created by chef
Massimiliano Alajmo of Le Calandre, is based on contemporary
interpretations of traditional Italian dishes. (Open daily)

Acqua Pazza
San Marco 3808 – 30124
Specializing in Amalfi cuisine, this restaurant it known for
mouthwatering pasta and Neapolitan pizza. (Closed Monday)

Corte Sconta
Castello, 3886 Calle del Pestrin
The restaurant serves seasonal products in a space more geared
to function than to form. Try the antipasti, from clams with ginger
to anchovies in marinade. Corte Sconta also has a tasting menu
with first courses such as gnocchetti with ganasséte of angler
fish and fresh peas, and meat and fish courses such as baby red
mullet. (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Da Ivo
Ramo dei Fuseri, 1809
Considered one of Italy’s historic places, Da Ivo was opened in
1976 by founder, Ivo Natali. Located a short walk from Piazza
San Marco, the restaurant offers superb cuisine in a refined
atmosphere. (Closed on Sundays)

Harry’s Bar (very expensive)
Calle Vallaresso
The Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs declared this famous
restaurant and bar a national landmark in 2001. (Open daily)

Cip’s Club
Isola della Giudecca 10, 3013
The restaurant enjoys a unique panorama of St. Mark’s
Square. Cip’s Club has an inside room decorated with original
paintings, watercolors, and prints celebrating its view, one of
the best in Venice. Outside, the spacious wooden terrace is
decorated like the deck of a private yacht.

Hostaria da Franz
Sant’Antonin, 5801 – Castello
This historic establishment is one of the best seafood
restaurants in town. Located in the oldest part of Venice,
close to the Arsenale, it seats only 40 people in an intimate
atmosphere. Specialties include high-quality fish, homemade
desserts, and ice creams.(Closed on Tuesdays)

Trattoria Antiche Carampane

Trattoria Antiche Carampane, photo by Evalita on the go

Trattoria Antiche Carampane
San Polo, 1911 (30 minutes on foot from Saint Mark’s Square)
In the heart of Venice, this renowned restaurant serves
distinguished Venetian cuisine in a familial setting. The
trattoria’s warm ambience and enticing menu create a
truly memorable dining experience. (Closed on Sundays
and Mondays)

Al Covo
Castello, 3968
This small, elegant restaurant behind Riva degli Schiavoni is
known for fresh vegetables, game, and fish (with accompanying
quality certificates). (Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays; open
other days from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. and from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m.)

Calle delle Erbe, 268
On the Island of Giudecca, this trattoria specializes in Venetian
cuisine such as spaghetti alla seppia or risotto with fish. Credit
cards are not accepted. (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Osteria ai Artisti
Dorsoduro1169a, Fondamenta della Toletta (30 minutes on foot
from Saint Mark’s Square)
This delightful Osteria, whose Japanese chef creates beautiful
dishes, is located between Campo san Barnaba and the
Accademia. (Closed on Sundays)

Osteria da Alberto
Calle Giacinto Gallina, Cannaregio 5401 (30 minutes on foot from
Saint Mark’s Square)
Located near the beautiful Miracoli Church, this is a good place
to come if you’re in a hurry and want a quick bite for lunch. The
counter is stocked with fried sardines, excellent meatballs,
shrimp, and cuttlefish. If you want to sit down, options include
pasta, risottos, and the famous baccalà with polenta.
(Closed on Sundays)

Osteria Orto dei Mori
Sestiere Cannaregio, 3386 (45 minutes on foot from Saint
Mark’s Square)
On the way to the Ghetto, this wonderful little restaurant close to
Tintoretto’s house serves typical Mediterranean cuisine.
(Closed on Tuesdays)

Enoteca al Bancogiro
San Polo 122, Campo San Giacometto
This enoteca, which is on the site of one Venice’s earliest trading
banks, has kept the original institution’s name. Have a glass of
wine at the bar, or sit at one of the tables outside or in the cozy
room on the first floor. Specialties include fish and excellent meat
plates. (Closed on Mondays)

Alla Madonna
San Polo 594, Calle de la Madonna
This large and informal fish restaurant near Rialto is tried,
trusted, and well loved. Always crowded, it maintains good
levels of service. (Closed on Wednesdays)

Antiche Carampane
Osteria Oliva Sestriere Castello 3417
Oliva Nera serves traditional Venetian cuisine in a friendly
family-owned atmosphere.

Alle Testiere
Calle del Mondo, Novo Castello, 5801
In the heart of Venice between Rialto and St. Mark’s Square,
this intimate restaurant honors the tradition of the city’s typical
seafood. The chef also brings an innovative touch to the menu
with dishes created with fantasy and artistic skill. Two seating
available: 7.30 p.m. and 9. 30 p.m.
(Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Campo San Filippo e Giacomo
This well-known pizzeria also has an excellent selection of
wines. A variety of “cicheti” (bite-sized snacks and appetizers
such as meatballs, small stuffed peppers, and freshly baked
pizzette with anchovies) can be ordered at the counter.
(Open daily.)



Florence Restaurant Recommendations

Enoteca Pinchiorri

Enoteca Pinchiorri

The city of Florence is home to a wide range of excellent places to eat, from casual pizzerias to fancy seafood restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites.

Enoteca Pinchiorri (three Michelin stars)
Via Ghibellina, 87, 50122
This Italian restaurant serves haute cuisine and excellent wines
in a number of dining rooms, including a historic room. (Closed
Sundays and Mondays)

Fishing Lab Alle Murate
16R Via del Proconsolo
Enjoy innovative seafood dishes in an amazing historic building
with frescoes from the 1300s. (Open daily)

Fuor d’Acqua
Via Pisana, 37r, 50143
Located an old chariot warehouse, this elegant restaurant
specializes in fresh seafood. (Closed Sundays)

Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 5R, 50122
Open since 1979, Cibreo serves inventive dishes in a fashionable
setting. (Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Mamma Gina
Borgo S. Jacopo, 37/R, 50125
This typical trattoria serves reasonably priced soups, pastas,
meats, and wine. (Closed Sundays)

Taverna del Bronzino
Via delle Ruote, 27/r
This hidden gem serves superb Italian cuisine in what was once a
16th-century artist’s studio. (Closed Sundays)


Trattoria Cammillo, photo by Andrew Harper

Trattoria Cammillo
Borgo S. Jacopo, 57/r
Near the Ponte Vecchio, this typical Florentine trattoria specializes
in classic Italian dishes. (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

Il Latini
Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123
This fun but crowded restaurant serves Tuscan cuisine in a
communal seating. (Closed Mondays)

Buca Lapi
Via del Trebbio, 1r, 50123
Among the oldest eateries in Florence, Buca Lapi is famous
for its steaks. (Closed Sundays)

Omero (at Pian dei Giullari on the hill, near Arcetri)
Via del Pian dei Giullari, 47, 50125
This trattoria with lovely views is known for its excellent
Tuscan food. (Closed Tuesdays)

Buca Mario
Piazza Degli Ottaviani 16R, 50123
In the heart of Florence since 1886, this restaurant serves
traditional Florentine cuisine. (Open daily)

Via del Leone 50R, 50124
This trattoria in the San Frediano quarter has served authentic
Tuscan dishes since 1992. (Closed Sundays)

La Giostra
Borgo Pinti 10R, 50121
Prince Albero d’Asburgo founded this romantic restaurant
in 1992. (Open daily, but not for lunch on Saturdays and

La Cucina del Garga
Via San Zanobi 33R, 50129Chef Alessandro founded this
excellent restaurant, which serves sublime recipes inspired by his
father. (Closed Sundays)

Il Guscio, Via dell’Orto (in the San Frediano quarter)
Via dell’Orto, 49, 50124
Popular with locals, Il Guscio has been run by the same family
since the 1980s. (Closed Sundays)

Osteria de_ Benci

Osteria de’ Benci, Via de’ Benci

Osteria de’ Benci, Via de’ Benci (near Santa Croce)
Borgo Santa Croce, 31r, 50122
Specials at this small Osteria include Spaghetti dell’Ubbriaccone
(drunken spaghetti). (Open daily)

Fiaschetteria Nuvoli
Piazza dell’Olio, 15/r, 50123
This casual, inexpensive restaurant near the Duomo serves
Tuscan specialties. (Open daily)

Trattoria del Carmine
Piazza del Carmine, 18R
In the San Frediano quarter, this trattoria is a local favorite.

Trattoria Sostanza
Via del Porcellana, 25/R, 50123
This simple but excellent restaurant is famous for its butter
chicken. (Closed Sundays)

Enoteca Pitti Gola
Piazza Pitti 16, 50125
In front of the Pitti Palace, this wine bar serves fresh pastas and
other local dishes.

I Tredici Gobbi
Via del Porcellana, 9R
Located in a historic building, this trattoria specializes in genuine
Tuscan cuisine. (Open daily)

Cestello Ristoclub
Piazza di Cestello 8, 50124
This upscale restaurant offers some of the best seafood in
Florence. (Open daily)

Ristorante Sabatini
Via Panzani, 9r, 50123
Almost 100 years old, this expensive restaurant serves traditional
dishes. (Open daily)

Osteria dei Pazzi
Via dei Lavatoi 1R, Corner Via Verdi, 50122
This charming local spot prepares delicious homemade food.
(Closed Mondays.)

Il Pizzaiuolo
Via dei Macci, 113r, 50122
This popular pizza and pasta place is just steps from the
Sant’Ambrogio Market. (Closed Sundays)

Cucina Torcicoda
Via Torta 5R, 50122
This osteria, pizzeria and restaurant is known for both steak
and pizza. (Open daily)

Be sure to check out Sant’Ambrogio Market (Piazza Lorenzo
Ghiberti, 50122; closed Sunday). Also, at the Mercato Central
(Via dell’Ariento, 50123;, there
are individual food stalls on the second floor.

9 Reasons to Cruise the Volga


The largest country in the world, Russia occupies one-seventh of the earth’s landmass and spans eight time zones. Join Arrangements Abroad on a summer river cruise aboard Volga Dream (June 2 – 12, 2018) to explore some of the cities, villages, and landmarks of this vast nation, including ancient towns where few Americans have set foot. Here are our top nine reasons to join this cruise on the Volga River.

hermitage1. Amazing art. Russia is home to some of the world’s finest art institutions including the Hermitage, which we will see before opening hours. At the Hermitage, we will also enjoy an exclusive after-hours visit with a champagne reception and live classical music.



2. Kizhi Island. Located near the center of Lake Onega, this stunning island is home to two intricate 18th-century wooden churches as well as an octagonal clock tower. Learn more about this UNESCO World Heritage Site and its unusual architecture.

3. Magical music. At the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration in Uglich, we will attend an a cappella concert and admire the glittering iconostasis surrounding the singers.

Dumplings with meat or cabbage and mushroom or cheese seasoned fried bacon


4. Russian hospitality. In the village of Svirstroy, we will be welcomed at a resident’s home for tea with jam and pirozkhi (local pies). Learn about Russian tradition and village lifestyle from our hosts.


5. White Nights. During midsummer (from May to late July), the night skies remain luminous in northern latitudes. Experience the magic of St. Petersburg, during this period of the White Nights, when the evening sky never darkens.

6. Glorious gardens. Visit sumptuous Catherine Palace to see the exquisite Amber Room, and enjoy a summer stroll in the formal gardens. At Peterhof, try to outwit the “trick” fountains that Peter the Great installed in the lower gardens.


7. Language lessons. One of the five most spoken languages in the world, Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin. Take advantage of a free class aboard Volga Dream to learn a little about this beautiful language. Get a head start on some basic phrases here:

Matryoshka - Russian nesting doll on white


8. Take-home treasures. Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls), many of which are handcrafted, come in various shapes and sizes and are a delightful memento. Another popular souvenir is Gzhel, blue and white ceramics made in a village southeast of Moscow.


9. The magnificent Moscow Metro. The city’s subway stations, some of which resemble subterranean art museums, are known as the “People’s Palaces.” Discover their grandeur during an optional prelude program. You may also wish to stroll by the Metropole Hotel, inspiration for the best-selling novel, A Gentleman in Moscow.

To find out more about our “Waterways of the Tsars” cruise, please contact Christine Echeverri, Client Services Associate, at 212-514-8921 or 1-800-221-1944, or by email at 

Click here to download brochure

Other trips you may enjoy:

Enchanting Douro River:
Round-trip Porto Aboard AmaVida
April 16 to 24, 2018

Cruise rates from $5,999
Waitlist Only

Sailing the Baltic’s Amber Coast Aboard Sea Cloud II 
June 29 to July 11, 2018

Land/cruise rates from $8,999
Limited Availability

In the Wake of the Vikings
Aboard Sea Cloud II 
July 10 to 21, 2018

Cruise rates from $7,999

Sicily by Sail
Valletta to Malta Aboard Sea Cloud
October 1 to 9, 2018
Cruise rates from $8,999
Waitlist Only

Adriatic Odyssey
Venice to Valletta Aboard Sea Cloud
October 11 to 21, 2018

Cruise rates from $7,999

A Journey into Antiquity
Egypt & The Nile
December 26, 2018 to January 7, 2019

Land/cruise rates from $T.B.A.

Sea Cloud: A Ship with a Story, a Secret, and a Song


Sea Cloud has been called “a ship with a soul.” More than that, she is a ship with a story, a secret, and a song.

SeaCloud_SailingCrew_23Her story has many chapters. The first begins in 1931, when Sea Cloud was built (as the Hussar V) for Edward F. Hutton, a stockbroker and expert yachtsman, and his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post. At a cost of over a million dollars—more than $15 million in today’s money—this four-masted windjammer was bigger and more spectacular than similar yachts owned by Morgans and Vanderbilts. Measuring 316 feet from bow to stern and with 55,000 feet of sail, Sea Cloud was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest private sailing yacht in the world.

Befitting a ship designed for an experienced sailor, Sea Cloud was exceptionally seaworthy. Her steel hull was so strong and moved so steadily that the yacht later served as a battleship during World War II.

SeaCloud_CatA_Cab2_01While E.F. was responsible for designing Sea Cloud’s exterior, Marjorie took care of the ship’s interior. “Luxurious” does not do it justice. Marjorie’s stateroom, decorated à la Louis XVI, was so opulent that when Queen Maud of Norway glimpsed it, she gasped, “You live like a queen, don’t you?”

Indeed, the queen of this “queen of the seas” has her own fascinating story. Marjorie, the only child of C.W. Post, founder of the Postum Cereal Company, had been groomed by her father as a business leader since the age of 10, when she began attending company board meetings. When C.W. passed away in 1914, Marjorie, then 27, took over. Through a series of canny mergers, she transformed Postum into General Foods, the company behind Jell-O, Maxwell House, Birdseye, and other household names.

Sea Cloud 15.-25.August 2010Celebrated for her glamour and style, Marjorie was also renowned for her philanthropy; she gave generous, often anonymous gifts to the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, and other favorite charities. Still, the Huttons worried that their wealth could attract the wrong attention. Thus Marjorie, E.F., and their only child Dina (who later became the movie star Dina Merrill) spent much of the Depression safe in relative isolation aboard Sea Cloud, sailing the world. In 1935 E.F. and Marjorie divorced, and 20 years later, Sea Cloud was sold to Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, who renamed it the Angelita after his daughter.

Therein lies Sea Cloud’s secret: In 1961, Trujillo was assassinated, and his son Ramfis tried to spirit his father’s body away to Europe by hiding it in the ship’s smoking room, along with a rumored $5 million in cash. En route, the ship was intercepted by a Dominican gunboat and forced to turn back. (The smoking room where the body was hidden no longer exists; it was removed to make way for the newer staterooms when Sea Cloud was remodeled.)

And Sea Cloud’s song? If you have ever been lucky enough to sail with the talented Tom Hook aboard as cruise director, you’ve probably heard him perform the classic rock song, “Ripple.” What could be a more fitting soundtrack for a moonlit night aboard this elegant lady?

“Ripple in still water / When there is no pebble tossed / Nor wind to blow…”

To find out more about upcoming cruises aboard Sea Cloud, visit Arrangements Abroad’s website or call us at 212-514-8921